Apr 21, 2011
|I'm a bit behind posting, but family will enjoy these pics so here goes. Larry & I met Tom & Lisa for a late breakfast last Wednesday & then went to the Venetian Hotel so that they could take the gondola ride. We actually missed the turn for the Venetian Parking garage so parked next door at their sister property, the Palazzo Casino/Resort. It was a bit of a hike but Maya enjoyed riding in her stroller and we enjoyed the scenery along the way. A beautiful two-story waterfall, along with a finely decorated skylight makes an elegant center display at The Shoppes at Palazzo.
The Palazzo is currently celebrating the arrival of spring season with vibrant butterfly decor bursting with bright colors and distinctive butterfly designs. Bright hyacinths, tulip willows, cherry blossoms, forsythia topiaries and 16-foot Amstel King Ficus trees line the atrium waterfall while 15-foot Japanese plum blossoms and 5-foot tulips complement the lobby gardens.
An intricately designed, animated butterfly with a 22-foot wingspan tops off the décor. The butterfly softly flaps it's wings and gently blinks while perched amidst the ground fountains and blooming spring topiaries. The signature butterfly took three months of planning and a team of 12 designers, seamstresses, welders and engineers to create. It will be on display until the end of May so if you are in town stop by & check it out. We understand the Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is currently showing– “Carnival In The Garden” featuring a carousel, ferris wheel and butterflies on display through May 8. We visited there last year and were very impressed.
We eventually arrived at the entrance to the Venetian & were impressed with the frescos that cover the ceiling reflecting a true Italian flair. The romantic atmosphere of Venice begs for guests to take a ride through the canal in the popular gondolas that run through the Grand Canal Shoppes. Surrounded by a ceiling emulating blue sky as well as architecture inspired by Venice landmarks, a gondola trip down the Grand Canal delivers a unique experience. From the soothing sound of water lapping the sides of the gondola to the eloquent singing of the gondoliers, many say they feel as if they have truly been transported to Italy. We were disappointed when informed that there is a 4 person limit on each gondola & Maya counted as a 5th even though she would be riding on Lisa's lap. Larry & I would be paired with another couple, so we decided to pass. That's okay, I got a couple of nice pictures of them.
I should also mention that there is an outdoor gondola ride available. Although two minutes shorter at 12 minutes long, the views afforded on the outdoor version more than make up for the shorter ride. With the warmth of the sun overhead and sparkling water below, passengers glide along a 31,235-square-foot lagoon located at the front of the Venetian resort on the world-famous Strip, weather permitting. Cost: $16 per person.
Back to the Grand Canal Shoppes. Authentic cobblestone covers the 500,000-square-foot shopping Mecca which features an abundance of exclusive stores, priceless art and even performers. We ducked into Peter Lik's art gallery for a bit. You might have seen him on the weather channel. I have always admired his work so I really enjoyed it. I took a picture of his most well known photo, 'The Tree of Life'. Amazing work.
Moving along we encountered one of numerous "Living Statues", often mistaken for actual statues. We were so impressed we added a buck to the tip pile and that initiated an extended hand toward me. I was VERY slowly led up the stair for a photo opportunity. Of course not one word was spoken. Pretty cool! We spent an hour or two admiring beautiful statues, art & the decor in general. Lisa bought a very nice purse & wallet, both purple. I resisted, Larry was so proud of me.
We finally headed back to our vehicles and Larry & I rushed home to help Bonnie. All of the kids came up for a visit and a bite to eat. Bonnie prepared taco soup and I made guacamole. I cheated a bit and bought an assortment of cheesecakes from Sam's Club bakery. Larry, Jeffrey & Jermaine all love it. We enjoyed watching old family VHS tapes and I promised to copy them to DVD. Hope to get that done fairly soon.
Our new compressor was installed this afternoon so we will be heading out tomorrow morning. So guess I best hit the sack. I've a lot to do before we can hook up. See you down the road a bit....